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Thursday, June 19, 2003

Better than all the nonsense I just wrote...
My Dad, after trying to watch the first segment of a lousy comedy show:
"Well, that was a real roundabout-nothing-of-shit!"

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Let me write this while we're enjoying a break from the rounds of hospitals and doctors' offices… the sleepless marathon of anxiety and panic that has become daily life. We hoped this would be a happier time. That was part of the idea: new life and optimism. Instead, the good lord has bombarded us with new sorrows, physical pains, impending poverty and sundry reasons to worry and stew. I am still not smoking. I'm sure it's a wonderful thing. It's incredible how rotten life has been for so long. I've not written for a variety of reasons, mainly boredom with my own moaning and general apathy about expressing anything. Some friends write me still, and that's nice, but why post this shit? For the entertainment of whom? Right now I write only because I've finished the DC "Secret Origins" reprint Thomas kindly sent me, and it's too rainy to mow grass. I've done nothing creative at all. Events have fucked even the vestiges-of-a-delusion-of-a-long-chance-at-nothing-much that hitherto occupied me.

Incidentally… here are some of the plans scotched in recent months and days:
Tour of UK clubs with friend Milo
Several creative collaborations with other musicians
Free vacation to Paris
Wedding reception of Julia and Paul LaGrutta
Participation in a various artists comp of 80s covers
A video for a tune from Uncle (and subsequent inclusion of this on a soon-to-be-released KRS dvd)
Various gigs, parties and events
Off the top of the head, these are.
The reasons for all these dashed plans are varied, mostly worthy and all unavoidable, but it all adds up to some dismal, homebound inertia. I assume people interpret these cancellations and postponements as proof of my unreliability and laziness. It sucks because everything mentioned was something I REALLY looked forward to. This endless routine of "my life is bad lately" gets to looking suspect, which I can dig. Some friendships might have hit the end of the line.
Again again: Who cares? Me, but I'm learning not to.

I did manage to finish some writing and a series of illustrations. That's because these jobs PAID MONEY and other pals were depending on me. It's good to retain a bit of whetever ethic that represents.

This of course is all me me me crying. Looking like a self-pitying jerkoff is not the desired effect, but I'm not at liberty to lay out the various trials of loved ones. Without getting more detailed as to all the recent storms, I can at least say we have all survived, Dean and Jerry included. I don't know the degree to which these purgatories change (as opposed to reveal) a person, but I do feel different. However, in these rare times when things slow down I can actually feel good and enjoy the hours in a very ephemeral way. Once I wrote a song about this called "Black River Falls," but few listened, fewer "got it" and nobody at all gives a rat's ass. (Emily Dickinson got to another side of it with that poem "After great pain a formal feeling comes…") It's a feeling of peaceful "eh." One just IS and small pleasures are quietly indulged until the other shoe drops, as it always will. It can be a very nice feeling. Provided I don't think too much about some things, that is. When I start thinking too much, I run to the tube for the lobotomizing effect that is sought as a replacement for the mental stimulation I used to get from creative work. Of course, there are appropriate responses to the banal or egregious content of television. In the spirit of the wonderful response I've received for the work of a lifetime, I now tap out a few of these half-baked thoughts and then return to… nothing.

Look! There on the screen! There is a "musical" performer named FIFTY CENT.
Fifty Cent.
If that isn't a new low in crow-jim ignoramusizin' then my name be Stepin Fetchit. Jesus! This guy has a "song" which pretty much consists of "yeah sure you love me now but when I go up for a 5 year bid in the state pen - and, naturally I'm planning to do just that - will you still be my 'boo'?" It's full of standard, redundant shee-it about "the thoughts I think in my mind" and "we'll do the things you like…would you like that?" But the video is what floors me: Mr. Cent and his lovely bizzatch are enjoying an evening at home when a bunch of cops arrive with a battering ram. These whiteboy (a term of understanding and respect liberally employed on a recent C-Span broadcast of Stanley Crouch and somebody named Playthell Benjamin discussing their book about W.E.B. DuBois… a more smug pair of fat-ass windbags I've not seen in a while, though I still have a small measure of respect for Crouch as long as he doesn't write about music) motherfuckers are apparently out to deprive Mr. Cent of his civil liberties, so he and the biotch commence to flushing all the contraband and hiding all the benjamins. This cuts to a fantasy of the prison life awaiting our hero should the white power elite succeed in incarcerating him. Turns out the cops were actually coming to arrest the brotha next door, so Fifty and his ciommon-law wizzife collapse in relieved amusement to the floor. How charming.

This is the kind of sewage now filling the airwaves and the otherwise empty heads of the citizenry of this collapsing society. Especially the feral, awful children. I've seen a lot of it in these recent weeks, staring at the TV. Now I also notice this guy named… oh jeez, I don't remember right now and I don't wanna go look it up and interrupt the typing flow… but he's the young guy allegedly banging Demi Moore. Used to be on something called "that 70s show" …Jason Kutcher? Ashton? Something. Anyway, this guy is suddenly EVERYWHERE. A superstar, is he? Appears so. Among other things, he has a show on MTV where he pulls practical jokes on his other vapid young celebrity chums. Like most of the infinitely diminishing-return retreads of the immortal "Candid Camera," this is some mean spirited and witless shit. Nobody has ever gotten Funt's magic down. First off, his intention was never to make people look foolish, which is the exact, sole point of the imitators. (to make EACH OTHER look foolish but to make US wish we were important enough to have pals like Justin Timberlake who'd want to prank us) Funt's humor was imbued with warmth and humanity, but these antiFunt stunts are cold and charmless… the victims become apoplectic with that lizard rage only seen in the young, stupid and obscenely spoiled anytime their absolute comfort and privilege are challenged for a second. That is, until the "reveal" comes and it's a mere "I KNEW it! You PUNKED me! You #&^%#*, you!" The whole idea, really, is that we are such drab fucking dullards we're happy to watch this community of wealthy nonentities short-sheet one another in the endless frathouse hi-jinks that comprise their unnecessary lives. Well it's all absolute bullshit that wouldn't make a nitrous oxide fiend grin, concerning small, unpleasant people who are famous for absolutely ZILCH, but someone's watching it I guess. Unless you are sitting dazed amid the moans of your suffering loved ones after weeks of sleepless nights and relentless, horrific emergencies, there's no excuse for looking at this crap. Fuck these people. They use terms like "old school" and "back in the day." Fuck them.

Reality shows about Gary Busey and Chuck Woolery? Are these guys supposed to be interesting because they actually DID something once? (Buddy Holly Story - the dramatized story of a dead singer; Love Connection - the televised result of a blind date matchup) Got to be. But wait... Where do all these supposed young celebs come from? I got Woolery and Busey, but where are these kids from when all that's on is one "reality" show after another? Sure it's a passing trend, like hiphop, but whaaaa?

There are TWO relaibly funny things on television: The Daily Show, which is still brilliant, and Curb Your Enthusiasm, which - going by the HBO track record - should begin to completely suck when the new season arrives. There are TWO interesting reality shows: Animal Precinct and American Chopper. Little else is any good whatsoever except reruns of really old shit. The political shows are intolerable ("The McGillicuddy Effect" "The VanGoozen Syndrome" "Gloves Off with Warren Guanobat" ) and the news at six is only an ad for the news at seven. I couldn't care less about this rancid society, but it amazes me how low it's gotten. Well I do like LINGO.

We are one nation under battered wife syndrome. We are demeaned and belittled by the shit that passes for entertainment / culture, and we return every day for more. It comes on with that faux-cool that every scummy seducer affects. This is a prefab pose worn by every interchangeable performer and packager, and only those under the spell can imagine any distinctions between individuals. This applies to Country goofballs (all those husky putzes in hats drawling about the workin' man), Rock dunces (grimaces and novelty facial hair, groaning like some 10 year old's imitation of Darth Vader), Critic-pop (all this bold "Radiohead is officially the greatest band in the world" hoo-hah, when it's unlikely that on any given night they are even the greatest band in the goddamn HOTEL), Rap (I've said as much as I care to already), and on and on and on. This is not the sour grapes you think it is. I've resigned myself to never making any headway with my work; it's pearls before swine, full out and fuck y'all. But I'd like some entertainment MYSELF. For me it's all in the past: music, tv, film, art, you name it. Sometimes there's a good book. But anyhow, I had this whole theory to foam at the mouth over, and now I'm sidetracked, but let it go. I ain't gonna stop and try to make this coherent. Onward.

Incidentally… an Islamic scholar has a book out. One of the reasonable people… out to correct bad impressions and ignorance… kind of a Chomsky of metaphysics. Posed with the ol' "just god / evil world: explain" question, the guy snorts that only in the Judeo-Christian tradition has it happened that people leave a faith based on this "dealbreaker" dilemma. Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists, etc, never even deal with this silly issue. The Muslim rationale is hidden in the "more profound" question: Why did God create us? The profound answer (as opposed to the silly Christian refuge in "holy mystery" evasions) is that Allah wanted to be KNOWN. It wasn't enough being infinite, eternal, and such… since He encompasses ALL (though, mind you not EVIL, which is somehow excluded from the "ALL" of God while suddenly appearing in the ALL of His creation), that infinity of possibles had to include someone to recognize that there's a God at all. Sensible, no? And if you think this implies that I find Christianity more sensible somehow, please go fuck yourself. There is no religion. IT'S ALL BULLSHIT. You want to figure out some moral / cosmic scheme involving deities or forces or spirits or suchlike, fine. It can help sometimes. But ALL THE BOOKS ARE BULLSHIT.

Do I really think that way? Who cares? But life has sucked so hard I wrote a psalm the other week.

One God
True God
So-called by rote
From Whom all beguines begin
And upon Whom all begats begaze beseechingly
Look down upon Thy child
(Upon whom Thou hast always looked down
Thy great and glorious Nose)
And grant some measure of that infinite mercy
Of which centuries of surrealists, comedians
And bunco artists hath spake so stiltedly:
Delete me from thy holy files
And bless me with no further interference from
Thy omnipo'tentious Self
In Placebo Spiritum

O God, Who hath allegedly created All, only that All might join in praise of Thee:
Remove me from Thine infinite, tiresome Allness

O God, Who answereth prayers with brutalities;
Who rewardeth faith with despair;
Who repayeth effort with destruction and tears:
Oh Poet of misdirection
Author of all disappointment:
Nullify me

Dispenser of riches
To those least deserving;
Bringer of sorrows
To those most loving;
Dangler of faint, false hopes;
Concocter of diseases;
Fine-print-typer on the labels of all comforts;
Fallamooker and fuckwad;
Brobdignagian Bully of the imponderable, vasty beyond-o;
Wooly bearded buck-passer of numerous, interchangeable, nonsensical traditions;
All-purpose logic-squasher and discussion-ender;
Reliable war-goat;
Bogus Land-rights validator;
Amuser of the sneering atheist;
Starver of small dogs and entire populaces;
Immolator of small dreams and grand utopias;
Benefactor of thugs, dictators and psychopaths;
Winking gremlin of all grief and doom;
Inventor of bad doctors and the need for all doctors;
Of bad cops and the need for all cops;
Animating Power inside frail flower and hardy, strangling weed alike…
What is thy problem?

I hear in Thee the guffaw of the hazing jock-child
I smell upon Thee the stenchbreath of the critic
I feel from Thee the radiant chill of the social poseur
I taste through Thee the poison of the gossip's tongue
I see around Thee the black nimbus of all-misery
Thou filleth up mine senses,
As Denver sang to Burns,
And I get mighty, mighty skeeved

Thou leerest from every eviction notice
Sad prognosis
Terrible report
Cruel insult
Callous betrayal
Grim statistic
Thou delighteth in the teardrop of the frightened child
Basketh in the spreading void of the senile mind
Taking, ever taking, and demanding more
Giving only for the pleasure of removing again
Like the fickle Indian of un-pc schoolyard calumny

Thy name is the stamp on filthy money
The graven motto of crooked courts
Through Thy professed omniuberallesation Thou confesseth all crimes
The luminol of Thine own hoary claims revealeth Thy bloody prints
On every supposed sin
O Perp perpetuo

Thou! O scummiest of rumored entities
Who whispereth small homilies and screameth vast condemnations
Who in thy gluttony for our fulsome praise;
Thy lust for our craven supplication;
Thy greed for our unearned gratitude;
Thy sloth at delivering the smallest of solaces;
Thy wrath… full bore… inexplicably …all the cocksucking time;
Thy laughable envy of other nonexistent deities;
And Thy misplaced pride in the catastrophic wretchedness of Thy design
Thou doth embody all that Thou claimest to rebuke
Dost Thou read me at all?
Dost Thou, Prick?

One song I heave to Thee
At a worthy altar
Of gleaming porcelain and swirling blue water
Sing Ralph!
Sing Bert!
Sing Wyatt Earp!

O all-encompassing Stormcloud of Wet Shit
O e'er o'er-flowing Font of Bitter Cess
To Thee I offer my meaningless but heartfelt resentment:
If in making me, Thou hast made nothing
Then in unmaking me, Thou unmakest nothing
What have we to discuss?

Master of tripwires and landmines
Agent of cancers and creeping blight
Crass prankster; orchestrator of all pointless misery
As Thou raiseth the lame to make them trudge;
So through thee are blind given sight to be shown the abyss;
And the deaf healed only to be subjected to fusion jazz;
In this way Thou gavest me a voice with which to whimper.

Deity most awful
Who removeth all songs: now remove all dreams of songs
As Thou hast crushed all laughter, now remove all memories of laughter
As Thou hast mocked all hopes, now remove all hope
Or else get out of my way

In fact, on second thought:
O justifier of hatreds: accept Mine

father of Jihads, Holocausts and Crusades: Fuck thee
Fuck thy holy name
Fuck thine entire creation
Fuck the sum and substance of thine infinite vanity
Blessed be the void thou wouldst fill
In the imaginings of thy believers

O myth
O nobodaddy
Fuck thee for this agony: life

Lo: thou hast promised all, delivered nothing
Hi: thou bringeth Me to sunlit pastures and there stomped Mine ass
Oo Wee: thou dost offer as sustenance
Antique perversities:
Blood of lambs;
Fires of righteousness;
All that Malarkus Anachronisticus hoo-hah
Yahoos take as fact or
Interpret as metaphor
Or properly discard as a bore
Even while wondering "gulp…what if…?"
Translated into every possible language
For every possible human to ultimately,
god willing, ignore

O nothing
To whom I address My dreary satire
To thy nothingness
With all who worship thee
And all who reject thee
And all who never think of thee
And all who ever think of thee
And all others
Forever and ever

I proclaim:
And I am lost


So that was the sophomoric result of one day's end-of-my-rope self therapy. Whatever. Again, who cares? I know it's too long. So edit it.

Last night I saw some paintings on the tube by a favorite artist: Thomas Cole. There was some grand music playing: Virgil Thomson's Symphony on a Hymn Tune… the fantastic bass viol ground figure that builds so powerfully under meandering woodwinds and brass fanfares. As it played they showed Cole's glorious landscapes. God, there are still some beautiful things in this world. And I thought how nice it'd be if I can teach that kind of thing to our kids. Something to inspire them as they deal with a world daddy hates. I hope the world doesn't fuck them up as fully as it has fucked me. I aim to try really hard to become something more noble than the squirming ouch you see represented in these blog entries. So pardon me if I bleed all over your monitor so the toxicity is expunged in time for the raising of thes kids.

Things are not so bad these last few. Got a Sears all-purpose power cutting tool. Not a Dremel, but cool anyway.
With it, I'll make things you'll never see.
There - I wrote in the blog.